MINISTER of Finance Alexander Chikwanda says it is in the interest of Government to keep companies afloat and in business for the purpose of wealth creation.
“Investors in Zambia, local or foreign, are partners with the government, so we need to interact and have dialogue on how best their operations can be sustained,” Mr Chikwanda said after visiting the Trident Kalumbila project yesterday.
“When you are sitting in the comfort of your home in Lusaka, you will not appreciate such investment like Trident Kalumbila’s US$2 billion investment,” he said.
Mr Chikwanda said mines have a myriad of problems that Government has taken interest in so as to make them convert challenges into opportunities.
He urged mining firms to be transparent in their operations.
Mr Chikwanda said mineral royalty and other tax matters must be left to Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to handle.
He said that ZRA is a specialised institution able to deal with tax issues of any magnitude and he is positive it will deliver on concerns raised by mining companies on tax.
“Tax is a very specialised field that the media, marketers and other professions should not talk about anyhow,” he said.
And Kalumbila Mine general manager Rudi Badenhorst said the Sentinel Mine will put Zambia at the forefront of global mining technologies.
Mr Badenhorst said the mine will be producing 55 million tonnes of copper concentrate which will go through Kansanshi Mine smelter.
He also said the mine will be producing about 280,000 to 300,000 tonnes per annum.
“At Sentinel, 1,525 employees will be engaged once production starts,” Mr Badenhorst said.
He also said the mine has in the last four years been lobbying for title to its land but to no avail.
Mr Badenhorst said once the title is granted, over 71 companies will come to invest in Zambia and create more jobs.